Crews are dealing with a statewide winter storm that has caused more than 60 road closures since early Wednesday. I-5 remains closed from exit 68 (11 miles south of Chehalis) to exit 88 (about 20 miles south of Olympia) for due to flooding. All three main east-west mountain passes remain closed at this hour due to water over the roadway and avalanche danger.
The Chehalis river still hasn't crested yet. We have about 3 feet of water on the northbound lanes and 2 feet of water on the southbound lanes of I-5. There is a great Web site offered by the National Weather service showing the current Chehalis river level. There is a worse case scenario today of I-5 being under 10 feet of water.
We are still getting reports of roads closing throughout the state, check our travel alerts to get the latest update.
Here are a couple of things to be aware of when during floods:
- Do not attempt to cross a flooded roadway in your vehicle (especially if already blocked off). There is no way to know how deep the water actually is until it is too late and even a small amount of water can cause your car/truck to stall.
- Do not attempt to cross a flooded roadway by foot, water may not look fast from the surface but it can easily sweep someone from their feet.
- Try to avoid floodwaters. Floodwater can be contaminated with raw sewage, gasoline, and other contaminants hazardous to your health.
- If in a flood prone area (frequent flooding) and roadway is adjacent to river, use extreme caution. Floodwaters can erode the roadway and if driving during limited visibility driver may not see missing section of road until it is too late.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups